In a scene more heart-warming than Rory McElroy dedicating his 2011 U.S. Open win on Father's Day to his dad, Helena's Jacque Hunthausen recently fired a hole in one at the tournament named in honor of her late father.
The event took place on Aug. 16, during play of the inaugural “Ray's Day” Golf Tournament at the Green Meadow Country Club. Proceeds from the tourney raised funds for the Ray Hunthausen Junior Golf Foundation.
The late Ray Hunthausen, longtime golf pro at GMCC who dedicated countless hours instructing young golfers, passed away in 2010 at just 48 years of age.
Last Saturday, his daughter stepped up to the ladies tee box on the 210-yard No. 4 hole with her Callaway driver in hand.
“I was playing OK the first two holes, and I was trying to teach my fiancé (and playing partner, Brad Schmidt) that he needed to relax more,” related the 28-year old Hunthausen. “When I hit the ball, I knew right away that I crushed it, but it seemed like it was going way to the left.
“So I turned back to Brad and said, ‘See, I told you to relax,’ and he was like, ‘Um, you need to turn around and watch this.’ And just as I looked back, we saw the ball land on the green and roll about 20 yards and then disappear.”
Hunthausen said she immediately started screaming and jumped into Schmidt’s arms, celebrating what the couple believed was her career-first hole in one.
“Then I said I was going to call my mom (Tori) on my cell, but first we had to make sure it went in the hole,” she said. “Brad kept saying it went in, but I wanted to see it. And then when we got to the green and looked, we saw (the ball) in the bottom of the cup.
“When I called mom and told her about it, I got emotional, because I knew dad had something to do with it.”
Jacque said it was her longest drive on GMCC’s No. 4, having “never reached the green before on that hole.”
Tori Hunthausen recalled that after telling about the ace, her daughter asked “What do I do now?” and started crying.
“I told her you don’t have to do anything; just enjoy it and remember what club you used,” Tori recounted. “And then when she got to the clubhouse she wondered if everybody bought her a drink, and I explained, ‘No, YOU get to buy the drinks…which she did.”
So did mom cry also?
“No, but I was thrilled. And I do believe it was divine intervention,” Tori said.
One tournament official described Hunthausen's ace on a par 4 hole as extremely rare, "comparable to an Albatross," which is three strokes under par.
And the shot obviously got Jacque's adrenaline pumping, as she then proceeded to post a birdie 2 on the next hole, the par 3 No. 5.
The Ray’s Day men's championship was captured by Dan Tiefenthaler, who shot a 74 to win the low gross. Andrew Petroski and Kevin Hudson tied for low net with 66.
On the women’s side, Amanda Roberts garnered the gross tourney carding an 86, while Cindy Hudson won the women’s net crown with 69.
Jacque played nine holes before heading to the clubhouse, firing a 46, which is two strokes off her PR of 44 for the GMCC’s front nine.
She described literally growing up at Green Meadow with a golf club in her hands, but by the time she reached high school her sport of choice was soccer.
“I always played soccer in the fall and the spring,” the former Capital High and Carroll College kicker related.
When asked what she learned most about the game of golf from her dad, Jacque answered, “To stay relaxed.”
“He always helped us with our swing, but mostly he emphasized not to take yourself too seriously; he taught more about the mental than the physical part,” she explained. “I know when I was a teenager I’d tell him to quit watching me...when you’re younger you’re not open to suggestions from your parents.
“But I’d definitely be more open to his advice now.”
Which might explain her miraculous shot on No. 4, although many observers believe there was some extra help guiding the ball into the hole that day.
Article by Curt Syness